Teenage Girl Pulls Off $4.6 Million Diamond Heist



According to a report in the South China Morning Post, a group of four individuals, including a girl estimated to be twelve to fourteen years old, made off with a 100-carat diamond necklace worth $4.6 million, with the teen being the one who physically took the jewels. The abovementioned news organization wrote of the incident,

"The heist – which detectives have described as “very well planned” – unfolded when two women, a man and a girl thought to be between 12 and 14 years old walked into the Emperor Jewellery shop in the 1881 Heritage shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui shortly after 3pm yesterday.

Well-dressed and speaking Putonghua, the trio of adults, managed to distract staff by asking to look at a series of items on display while the girl stole a key from a drawer, opened a display cabinet then slipped the necklace off a display bust and into her pocket."

It sounds as if the young woman is getting one hell of an education thanks to the adults in charge of her care. That certainly wasn't your average teenage girl's trip to the mall. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they might become her worst nightmare should she be apprehended.

Read more at the South China Morning Post. 

Via Uproxx | Image: Wikimedia Commons 


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Epic Supercut of Cinema's 60 Greatest Sword Fights

Two professional warriors face off against each other in a refined yet brutal form of combat. This is sword fight of cinema, which is the source of some of the most compelling scenes in film history. Clara Darko rounded up selections of 60 great movie sword fights, including scenes from The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Rob Roy, Kill Bill, Pirates of the Caribbean, among many more. They're arranged from a cautious beginning to a bloody end. She notes that the soundtrack, which was very well selected, is from Kill Bill.


(Video Link)

-via io9


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Kissing Baby Koalas


(Photo: Toranga Zoo)

Holly and Bai’yali are koalas at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. They've moved away from their mothers and become treemates. As you can see, the couple is getting quite close, as young lovers do. You can see more photos of them at Zoo Borns.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The Effect of Hollywood on Historical Perspective

Pollsters asked French citizens who contributed the most to the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. The poll was conducted in 1945, then repeated in 1994 and 2004. As you can see in a graphic from Olivier Berruyer, the results changed over time. Of course, most of the people polled in 1994 and 2004 were not around during the war, and what they know was learned in classrooms and movie theaters. The movies aren’t necessarily wrong, but the Hollywood film industry tells stories they know, that are available in a language the industry speaks.

In another graph at the same post, Berruyer shows us that 11 million soldiers of the Soviet Union died in the war, and as least as many civilians, making the USSR the country with the highest casualties of all. China was second, as Chinese civilians bore the brunt of Japanese atrocities. The United States lost 184,000 soldiers in the European theater, and 407,000 when you include the Pacific theater. 

The effectiveness of the USSR in defeating the Nazis is colored by the utter brutality of the Stalinist regime, and clouded by the secrecy of Soviet isolation over the ensuing 50 years. However, the sheer numbers have a tale to tell, and we haven’t been telling it as well as we could. The post at Les-Crises has more graphics on World War II, which are all in French but pretty easy to understand. -via reddit

(Image credit: Olivier Berruyer)


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Panda Cubs Keep the Brawl All in the Family

YouTube Link

As an article in The Independent explained about this video,

"Pandas generally don’t move too fast. Inclined to slothful activity, it’s unusual to see the animals do much more than look vaguely excited about the arrival of food.

But panda cubs in China’s Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Chengdu, got into a playful brawl earlier this week. The five cubs can be seen rolling and scrapping in their enclosure as they buffet one another after one cub attempts to climb a nearby tree.

Quickly returning to form, the cubs - after a mere 50 seconds of brawling - soon appear bored and each wanders off to separate corners of the enclosure."

Nothing like keeping the brawling in the family! Stay scrappy, cubs.  

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Guardians Of The Catlaxy - One Purr-Fectly Geeky Mashup


Guardians Of The Catlaxy by trheewood

They weren't the Meowva Corps first choice for the battle against the Great Dane-os, but they were the only ones willing to give up their flea bitten lives for the cause. Pets all over the Catlaxy were counting on these unlikely heroes/feline felons to save the day, but if Purr-Lord, Rocket Ragdoll and the rest of the Meowlano gang couldn't learn to work as a team the furry citizens of the Catlaxy were doomed!

Become meow-ster of your own feline universe with this Guardians Of The Cataxy t-shirt by trheewood, it's way more stylish than a fur coat and combines your two loves- comic book characters and cats!

Visit trheewood's Facebook fan page, official website, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more action packed designs:

Animal Instinct Infraganti Ice Cream Fatality Don't Touch My Cookies

View more designs by trheewood | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

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Reinventing the Potato

A couple of years ago, we linked to a story about how the variety of apples diminished to just a few kinds, and the efforts of one man to bring back their glorious diversity. The same fate has befallen potatoes. Thanks to market forces, particularly the demands of the French fry industry, the overwhelming majority of potatoes available in the U.S. are Russet potatoes. Contrast that with the many kinds of spuds that are still grown in South America. Potatoes were first cultivated thousands of years ago in the Andes mountains, on the border of what are now Peru and Bolivia.

Back then, the potato was synonymous with diversity. The Andeans inhabited a mountainous mosaic of microclimates in which one plot of land presented a very different set of growing conditions than its neighbor. No single variety could survive in such a heterogeneous landscape, so the Andeans diversified — to the extreme. Farming so many different types of potatoes also provided a more interesting and enjoyable diet, a tradition that is still alive today. “If you go to a typical Andean household,” explains Stef de Haan, a researcher at the International Potato Center in Lima, “they will eat what is called chajru, which means ‘mixture’ in the Quechua language. They sit around a big bowl of potatoes. And the joy of eating those, the culinary delight, is that every time you pick a potato, you pick a different one. In Quechua, especially when it comes to the taste of potatoes, they have this whole unique vocabulary — almost like somebody from France would tell you about the taste of wine.

Now a few folks are trying to bring back potato variety in the U.S. One is helping chefs develop ways to harness different tater flavors, colors, and textures, while another is encouraging diversity on farms. Read about the many types of potatoes we could be eating soon at Modern Farmer. -via Digg

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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10 Fantastic Lights We Love

Chances are you're using a light in the room you're in right now, but it's probably not all too exciting. Home lighting is just one of those things people tend to buy, install and forget about, but these great lamps we featured on Homes and Hues are certain to get and keep your attention. 

From floating lights to dripping ones and from color-changers to herb-growers, these great lamps will not only make your space brighter, but also make your home decor a little more brilliant as well.

See the full list at Homes and Hues: 10 Brilliantly Beautiful Lighting Options


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Stray Kitten Thrives After Rescue From Living at a Power Plant

YouTube Link

YouTube user The Fabulous Mr. Pug made this video about how he came to care for Coco, a stray kitten he found living in the building where he worked. At the start of the video, Coco is filmed at the power plant, filthy and obviously frightened by the loud machinery. Mr. Pug explains, 

"She was born in the thermal power plant I work in and she was alone, hungry, cold and scared. She was trying to eat dry bread when I found her. I brought her some kitten food and we instantly became best friends. One week later, we adopted her and she became a new member of our family. Today, she is one beautiful and playful kitty and she brings so much happiness into our lives!"

What a sweet story. I can only imagine how happy Coco is to have a home instead of fending for herself at the scary power plant.

The video below is of Coco doing kitty-like things at her new home. In this instance, she's discovering carbonated water. That bubbly stuff tickles her nose, and she's not sure it's entirely safe. Best to take cover behind a curtain and stalk it for a bit, just in case. -Via Tastefully Offensive
 

YouTube Link

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The Wonderful World Of Wonder Woman Cosplay

Wonder Woman is one of the most enduring characters in comic book history, and even though she doesn't look like she has aged a day she has lived many different lives, and worn many different costumes, in the last 74 years. 

Here's a collection of 30 different incarnations of Wonder Woman, most of which were actually inspired by looks seen in the pages of Wonder Woman comic books.

1. Little Wonder Girl-

Wonder Woman is an inspiration to people of all ages, but nobody idolizes the Amazonian warrior princess more than young girls. This heroic little Wonder Girl looks like she's ready to battle any bullies who threaten freedom on the playground.

(Image  Link)

2. Wonder Woman in Fancy Ball Gown-

When Diana Prince gets dressed up for a superhero's ball she likes to keep her look formal and fancy, and this unknown cosplayer perfectly captures that Wonder-fully fancy ball gown look in her mighty poofy dress.

(Image Link)

3. Rockabilly Wonder Woman-

This rockin' good Rockabilly Wonder Woman costume is part of a retro inspired group costume created by cast members from The Home of Happiness Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast for New York Comic Con in 2013.

You can see the rest of their ensemble here, and while the Rockabilly Batman costume is definitely inspired by Denis Medri's drawings, the rest of the group came up with their own original creations.

(Image Link)

4. Atomic Wonder Woman-

Who needs a sword when you've got a chainsaw spear?! Cosplayer Meagan Marie created this extremely cool costume based on the post apocalyptic Atomic Wonder Woman character that appears in the game Infinite Crisis.

(Image Link)

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Oddly Soothing: Plugging Pylons on the Golden Gate Bridge


(Video Link)

Like the bricklaying video I posted a couple years ago, there's something calming and appealing about watching someone become, through practice, the master of a skill you might not think of. This employee of the Golden Gate Bridge Transportation District can plug pylons into holes made for them along the Golden Gate Bridge. He does so while the truck he's travelling on is moving at considerable speed.

He never misses a single hole throughout the video.

-via David Thompson

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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These Robots Are No Soccer Stars

(YouTube link)

We’ve posted about the annual Robocup meet a few times before, but here is the funniest video yet from the annual soccer tournament for robots. This team from the 2012 meet can barely stay upright, much less catch each other. They altogether suck at the sport. But what makes it special is the exciting play-by-play commentary from Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen. -via The Daily Dot


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The World's Largest BBQ Pit Can Cook 4 Tons of Meat a Time, Is Hauled by Its Own Big Rig


(Photo: Texas BBQ Treasure Hunt)

Check your pockets. Do you have $350,000 handy? If you do, then you can own the Undisputable Cuz, this gloriously huge portable barbecue pit now on sale on eBay. Terry Folsom of Brenham, Texas is the current owner. Why he would ever want to part with it is a mystery, especially once you hear what it has to offer: the trailer-mounted assembly is 75 feet long and contains a walk-in cooler. It can cook 4 tons of meat at a time, which is enough to a good family weekend get-together.

-via Daily Telegraph


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The Soviet Space Dogs Who Took Giant Leaps for Mankind

The tale of the canine cosmonaut Laika, the first living being to orbit the earth, is a tragic one. But she was not the first dog the Soviets sacrificed in their space program. And the two space dogs that followed Laika not only survived, but became superstars in the USSR (Belka and Strelka are pictured above and illustrated below). Damon Murray edited and published the book Soviet Space Dogs, which tells the story of the Soviet strays who paved the way for humans to enter space. He talked to Collectors Weekly about the space dog program.

Collectors Weekly: Why were dogs chosen over apes or cats?

Murray: Dogs had a history of scientific experimentation in the USSR. Petrovich Pavlov had used them to great effect in his studies of the reflex system. Despite this, apes were initially considered as they more closely resemble man in many ways. Dr. Oleg Gazenko, one of the leading scientists of the space program, even visited the circus to observe the famous monkey handler Capellini, who convinced him that monkeys were, in fact, problematic. They required intense training and numerous vaccines and were emotionally unstable. (Cats did not tolerate flight conditions; that was later proved by French missions in 1963.) The decision was made: Dogs would be the first cosmonauts.

Read the stories of Laika, Belka, Strelka, Dezik, Tsygan, Bobik, ZIB, Otvazhnaya, and other canine cosmonauts of the Soviet Union, in an article at Collectors Weekly.

(Images credit: © FUEL Publishing)


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Haggis Pops

Happiness is possible on this earth because these haggis pops are actually real! It's more portable than the world's largest haggis and surely just as tasty. Instructables member PenfoldPlant, the inventor of the Möbius bacon strip, made them for a Burns Supper, an annual celebration of the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns that takes place on January 25.

PenfoldPlant, a true traditionalist, made them from fresh sheep guts. He even cleaned and prepated the stomach itself, which serves as the coating of these delicious wonders. This step required careful work. He placed a ping pong ball in part of the stomach, then tied off and cut that part off the rest of the stomach.

-via Foodiggity

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Founder of Fark to Run for Governor

Lexington native Drew Curtis, who runs the website Fark.com, has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2015 gubernatorial race in Kentucky. The race is wide open, as Governor Steve Beshear is ineligible to run for a third term. Curtis will run as an independent.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Business Lexington, Curtis cast himself as a “citizen candidate” and talked about his plans and goals in joining the fray. He cited influence-peddling, party gridlock and “this sinking feeling that nobody is doing their damn jobs at the political level” as major factors influencing his decision.

Curtis said he filed his campaign papers Friday and planned to make a formal announcement Monday on his website. His wife, Heather, will serve as his running mate.

“I have no idea what I’m in for,” said Curtis. “But that’s kind of the thing about being an entrepreneur, is you jump off a cliff and you build the plane on the way down.”

Curtis has set up a website for his campaign. He serves at the University of Kentucky’s Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking board and on Lexington’s Economic Development Investment Board. He also brews craft beer with Will Wheaton. -via Metafilter


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1 Up Princess - Itsa Floating Away!


1 Up Princess by Fishbiscuit

Mario always finished levels by jumping on the flagpole then walking straight through the castle door, but something was different about the first level in UP world. Mario got through the level without a scratch, defeated a big, dumb bird named Kevin, and jumped up on that flagpole, but that's when things started to get strange. The fireworks went off, Mario jumped down and headed towards the castle door, but before he could officially finish the level the castle floated away!

Add some animated game to your geeky wardrobe with this 1 Up Princess t-shirt by Fishbiscuit, wear it and earn a fashion high score!

Visit Fishbiscuit's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightful designs:

Narwhal Believes In You Legend Of Hot Sauce Dark Side Metal

Skim Milk Is A Liar

View more designs by Fishbiscuit | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Balloons With an Edge

A Brooklyn-based photographer calling himself “B. Balloonerman” shot this photo series of balloon animals that are a bit rougher around the edges than usual. The balloons, fashioned by Buster Balloon, aren't your cousin Patty's mid-1980s birthday clown balloon animals. Perhaps that's why they're appealing.

These photos are available for purchase as prints at the TwistedBalloon Etsy shop. See the full variety of characters there. 

Via Laughing Squid | Images: B. Balloonerman 



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Reggie the Puppy-sitter

(YouTube link)

Reggie is a very patient and long-suffering cat. He’s well aware that these Australian terriers are puppies and don’t know any better, but he isn’t enjoying their company. He finally gets up to leave, but hesitates while he gets one last puppy scratch. Oh, don’t miss the half-hearted foot push at :50.  -via Metafilter

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Six Charts That Explain Late, Flaky People



I know that I am never late or prone to blowing off plans made weeks ago with the best of intentions. I also know that no Neatorama reader could ever be characterized as such. Yet sometimes, we need a visual aid to understand the unfortunate people who aren't perfect like us. Thankfully, Isla Bell Murray and Jessica Saia have come to our rescue with such charts. Quite a revelation, are they not?

See all six graphics explaining late and/or flaky people here.  

Via Design Taxi | Images: Isla Bell Murray and Jessica Saia


 


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Archer Has Incredible Ability to Hit Any Target from Any Position at Any Speed

Lars Andersen, the fastest archer in the world, is back with a mesmerizing video showing his apparently superhuman abilities with a bow and arrow. He has revived centuries-old techniques in positioning, such a holding the arrow along the right rather than the left side of the bow. Andersen describes them at length in the notes to the YouTube video below.


(Video Link)

He can jump, catch an arrow, and shoot it while in midair.

He can shoot down an arrow flying through the air.

He can catch an arrow shot at him and shoot it back.

-via Boing Boing

Is this video real or fake?



Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Pocahontas Ballerina

RYC-Behind the Lens snapped this photo of a great cosplay at Stan Lee's Comikaze 2014, a fan convention in Los Angeles. The Disney princess Pocahontas from the movie of the same name finds ballet calling her just around the riverbend.

-via Uproxx

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Mutant Pit Bull Terrier Specimen Discovered

YouTube Link

Recently, the owner of a pit bull terrier was stunned to find it missing, with this terrifying mutant of the breed in its place. It's no wonder that there is widespread public concern about pit bull terriers when something like this can just turn up at any time. Hide and secure the dog treats! -Via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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German Man Wins Right to Pee Standing Up

A court case in Germany pitted a tenant against a landlord on the proper way for men to urinate. The landlord had confiscated €1,900 of his tenant’s €3,000 deposit due to damage to the marble bathroom floor, which he says resulted from urine splash. The tenant sued. Instead of arguing just on the responsibility for the floor damage, the court case focused on a man’s right to be a “Stehpinkler,” or standing urinator, when the landlord wanted him to be a “Sitzpinkler.”

While Düsseldorf judge Stefan Hank found the pro-sitting landlord's arguments "credible and understandable“, he said that he could not side with the landlord.

"Despite the increasing domestication of men in this regard, urinating while standing up is still widespread", he wrote in his judgement.

The landlord should have warned the renter of the floor's "sensitivity" to potentially damaging bodily fluids beforehand, the judge reasoned.

Nowhere in the story does anyone mention that those who sprinkle when they tinkle should clean up after themselves, sensitivity or no. -via Arbroath

(Image credit: yasmapaz & ace_heart)

P.S. The source of this and many other weird news stories, the blog Nothing to do with Arbroath is celebrating ten years of blogging today. Please go and leave a message of encouragement for the tired blogger.  


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20 Shower Thoughts That Will Blow Your Mind

You stand under the hot water for a couple minutes. It dances over your body. The steam rises and fills your nostrils. Your world is, for a brief moment, calm and peaceful. Now is the opportunity for enlightenment.

That is when a shower thought--an experience of mundane profundity--enters your mind. Imgur member Buttman illustrated 20 of them.

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Four-Sided Paintings by Jacek Yerka

Boudoir

Jacek Yerka (previously) is a Polish artist who creates these fascinating four-sided paintings that keep the viewer's focal point constantly shifting. Aptly titled4 Siders,’ Yerka’s series gives the stuff of still lifes a surreal quality. Like an interactive story in which the participant can choose their own ending, the person studying these pieces is free to decide on their preferred perspective with which to absorb the artwork.  

See more of Yerka's beautiful paintings here, visit his website "Yerkaland," and follow him on social media via Facebook and Twitter.  
 


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The Rise of Fake Engine Noise

You recall how Toyota added a recorded sound of an engine to its Prius models because people thought it was creepy and dangerous for a car to move silently when it was in electric mode. But apparently they weren’t the only ones. If you step on the accelerator of a fairly recent Ford F-150 pickup, or a Mustang, the satisfyingly powerful American ‘vroom” you hear is deliberately amplified or digitally enhanced.

Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.

Softer-sounding engines are actually a positive symbol of just how far engines and gas economy have progressed. But automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.

While we can understand adding noise honestly as a safety feature, it seems foolish to do it as a sales gimmick -and even worse to act like “the mating call of the Mustang” is produced by a V8 engine instead of a digital recording. Read how Ford, BMW, Porshe, Volkswagen, and other companies enhance engine sounds, at The Washington Post. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Ford)


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V8 ACCELERATE - Sci-Fi Speed Shop


V8 ACCELERATE by Scott Neilson

When Dale founded K's Motor Shop he had no idea what sort of people his humble hot rod shop would attract, but before he knew it Dale was neck deep in rolling alien trash cans looking for a V8 upgrade. Those far out alien freaks were looking to exterminate some rat rodder known as The Doctor, so they ordered Dale to slap his most rod-tastic engine into their strange armor suits so they'd be ready to rip up the competition. But when The Doctor showed up pushing a blue police box shaped coffin rod Dale started rooting for the other team!

Trick out your geeky wardrobe with this V8 ACCELERATE t-shirt by Scott Neilson, and you'll be rollin' out in style!

Visit Scott Neilson's Facebook fan page, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Tis But A Scratch Greetings From Scrabania Temple Woolverine Synth City

View more designs by Scott Neilson | More Sci-Fi T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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20 Facts About Nuclear Accidents

Three Mile Island


According to The Guardian, working from data compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency, there have been 33 nuclear accidents (and more minor incidents) since the first at Chalk River in Canada, 1952. Given the scope of destruction, potential effects on human life and the length of time radiation contaminates affected areas, the threat of nuclear accident has always been a major concern. 

The article linked below lists twenty facts pertaining to nuclear accidents. One fact concerns the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. In the days immediately following the accident, the needles of pine trees within 1.5 miles of the plant actually turned red! Today, the trees appear twisted and mangled, having the appearance of sickly bushes.

Read 19 additional facts about nuclear accidents here.   

Image: Wikipedia 


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Richard Scarry's Busytown for the Modern Age

We're living in the future! There are no flying cars yet, but there are all sorts of new careers that you can prepare for. The children's book author and illustrator Richard Scarry became famous for his fictitious city of Busytown, where anthropomorphic animals engage in many different jobs.

When they were first published in the 1960s, the Busytown books gave children many different career options to consider. But most of those are now out of date. This is the internet age, so artist Tony Ruth updates the series with BusinessTown. Have a look to find out "what value-creating winners do all day."

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